Business takes an enormous amount of time and attention. It can also take all your enthusiasm and passion for what you do. When you start to feel overwhelmed or resentful, it's time to take a step back and look for some inspiration. One of the best ways to regain your love for what you do is to be around others who “get it” by attending a conference or professional development. I am the first to admit that not all conferences are equal. But if you hit on the right conference it can be a powerful motivator.
I was fortunate to do just that recently by attending two conferences the BALLE conference and IOM. Both conferences left me inspired and motivated. They also forced me to think about how to take what I learned and put it in to action so that the inspiration I felt at the conference does not disappear the day after I get home.
Here are some tips for putting motivation into action:
Take notes during the conference.
Not only on things you learned but also on the ideas that inevitably pop into your head. Note what gets you excited and what you are sick of hearing about.
No one understands what you are going through better than someone in your industry. Often we can get so engrossed in the day-to-day of business that it can almost be isolating. Talk, share stories, vent, and chances are you will find solutions to some challenges.
Decide on three to five things that you can implement easily and two to four longer-range goals.
Try to find a partner and keep each other accountable to staying on track to meet your respective goals. This can be done by simply exchanging goals and putting dates to them. Having someone to be responsible to makes it easier to achieve those goals. If there is anyone else that lives near you set a time to get together a couple of weeks after to talk about what you learned.
Professional development, when chosen carefully, is a great way to gain motivation. I feel completely inspired by who I met and what I learned at those conferences. I am working on keeping that motivation going by achieving the goals I have set. You can do the same.
Melissa Flynn is passionate about her community and passionate about her job as the executive director for the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce. For the past seven years she has been creating a sense of place that has helped to transform the Lincoln Square community. Flynn is a skilled and experienced executive with a proven track record of creating a successful business climate balanced by strong values of sustainability and community. Under her leadership in 2011, the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce achieved the highly coveted three-star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.